The End of the Beginning

99 days ago, an idea came to me in the sauna. Let’s write 100 blog posts in a 100 days! Get to show off my writing skills! Get to use this fancy Squarespace account that I’ve paid for but never used! I’m a writer, aren’t I? How hard could it be?

Turns out, it was pretty hard. More than once I thought about stopping at well before 100. June 1st seemed so far away, and everything I did was dogged by the question, “Could this be a post?” At a restaurant? Write down the menu descriptions. Reading a newspaper article? Save the link. Watching a movie? Remember when I had which reaction. My life was getting annotated.

It wasn’t long after I started that I realized writing a post a day required some discipline. Shawn Blanc recommended making a note the night before of what to write about the next day. I set up a schedule to spread out topics throughout the week: Wednesday for my photo project, Mondays & Fridays for life habits, Thursday for a classic revisited, etc. It didn’t mean I had to stick to those topics, but it gave some variety and breathing room. Sometimes I had over a week planned out, sometimes only a couple of days.

Some posts were running a little long and had to be split. Not that I didn’t have time to finish them, but I wanted all 100 posts to be roughly the same length, around 300 words (although it was around 200 at the beginning).

On April 18, at the 56-day mark, I discovered the #The100DayProject, which this would have fit into perfectly. Better early than never, I guess!

I am really happy I made it this far, but it’s really just a start, a small marker in a long process of writing and creating. And I wouldn’t have made without being inspired by many amazing people like:

  • Elle Luna, who got me to accept what I Must be doing and start doing it
  • John Paddington, who unceasingly insisted that I should just write and worry about details later
  • Shawn Blanc, who got me to review my priorities and showed that I had plenty of time to write
  • Maria Popova, who showed me that you can create beautiful things every day
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
— Winston Churchill

So what’s next? Well, for a least a couple of days, nothing. Sweet, glorious idleness. Then probably a week or two of playing with templates and formatting, and then I’ll start another project. Maybe a photography one, or even coding, which is another thing that I’ve set aside for way too long.

And there definitely be will be more writing. Longer, deeper, better-researched posts. And fiction? I don’t want to jinx it, but the machine is rumbling, and the more it gets going the harder it is to stop.